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-   -   Weird acroread problem saving a changed form (http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-software-2/weird-acroread-problem-saving-a-changed-form-4175490600/)

rnturn 01-08-2014 03:28 PM

Weird acroread problem saving a changed form
 
I have several (OK... around a dozen) PDF forms that I need to update. I would rather not have to do this on the missus's Win7 laptop so I'm doing it on OpenSUSE using acroread 9.5.4.

When I open the PDF form, I'm typically doing it by double clicking on the filename in Dolphin. ("acroread" has been defined as the default program to use on PDF-formatted files.)

When I update the form and go to save it, I wind up having to go through the following process:

* Click on File->Save

* Close the error message dialog box. This pops up a box like you'd get if you'd tried to "Save As" in other applications.

* Select the name of the file I'm editing/updating.

* Click on "OK".

* In the confirmation dialog that pops up, confirm that I want to overwrite the existing file.

(The steps above are slightly different if I open the form from within acroread. I'm also less likely to successfully save the modified file when opening it via acroread. I rarely open a file using the acroread File menu so this is not a major concern for now.)

It's not an obvious permissions problem. The file is owned by "myuser:mygroup" and has permissions of "664" and the parent directory is owned by "myuser:mygroup" and has permissions of "775".

Q: Is this normal behavior for acroread?

I don't recall having this problem in the past but I only go through this process of updating forms a couple of times a year so I may have forgotten about having to go through this. (The number that I need to update when it's time to update these things has been increasing so any streamlining would be great.) BTW, I'm pretty much stuck using acroread for filling in these forms. In the past I've tried Okular and the resulting file was seen as damaged by Acrobat (on WinXP and Win7) and could not be read.

If anyone has any other things I can try, I'm all ears.

TIA...

--
Rick

dolphin_oracle 01-08-2014 04:10 PM

9.4 is fairly old for acroread. There have been changes in form handling of the pdf format over the years.

I don't know if it will help, but I've had the most luck with evince for viewing pdfs, but I'll admit that I rarely change pdf forms.

rnturn 01-09-2014 08:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dolphin_oracle (Post 5094497)
9.4 is fairly old for acroread.

Not "9.4". "9.5.4".

I upgraded to the most recent version (at least the most recent available via YaST), "9.5.5". The behavior has not changed. A half dozen clicks to save a freakin' form is pretty ridiculous IMHO. I'll be changing my default application for PDFs back to Okular after I finish this semi-annual form-filling-out exercise. (Thanks Adobe for PostScript but everything else you've done since has been pretty awful.)

[sigh]

--
Rick

jdkaye 01-09-2014 01:32 PM

When you open up your pdf form does Adobe Reader display a purple (mauve?) message bar between the menus and the beginning of the form which says,
Quote:

Please fill out the following form. You can save data typed into this form.
This is what I see using Adober Reader 9.5.3. It fills in forms with no problems.
jdk

mjolnir 01-09-2014 02:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jdkaye (Post 5095037)
When you open up your pdf form does Adobe Reader display a purple (mauve?) message bar between the menus and the beginning of the form which says,
This is what I see using Adober Reader 9.5.3. It fills in forms with no problems.
jdk

This is also my typical experience with acroread.

rnturn 01-09-2014 03:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jdkaye (Post 5095037)
When you open up your pdf form does Adobe Reader display a purple (mauve?) message bar between the menus and the beginning of the form

Yes.

I have no problem actually filling in the form (other than it being along the lines of needless administrivia and nobody here is going to be able to fix that :D ). It's that I own the file, I'm in the group that owns the file, both of those have write permissions to the file, but I'm not actually able to save changes to the file without going through several dialogs to save them. Since these things are long enough, I need to (well, choose to) fill in the form in several sessions with each taking 5 clicks to perform each save. Multiply that process by 15 (this time, anyway) and it's a depressing thing to contemplate.

The only thing I can come up with is that this is Adobe's way of asking: ``Are you sure? Oh, OK. Are you really, really sure?'' before actually writing to disk.

I haven't looked thoroughly but maybe there's an option in the acroread preferences that let's be take down some of those hurdles. I looked once but nothing looked promising.

--
Rick

jdkaye 01-10-2014 03:19 AM

I can't replicate your problem. I downloaded some American tax form called W4. I opened the file with Acroread. I filled in some information in the fields and clicked on the File menu and selected Save. That's it. It saved the pdf form including the information in the fields I filled in. No dialogue box, no nothing. It just saves the form with the data I entered. If I close Acroread and open the file again with Acroread, the fields I filled in appear with the information I provided. I downloaded the form to my /tmp folder where I have rxw permissions. The form file has permissions of 600.
jdk

dolphin_oracle 01-10-2014 08:50 AM

I'm wondering if the authoring software put in some checks for savings. There are security measures built into the pdf format. I wonder if you tried the W4 like the previous poster if you would get the same messages that you got with your forms.

rnturn 01-10-2014 10:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dolphin_oracle (Post 5095460)
I'm wondering if the authoring software put in some checks for savings. There are security measures built into the pdf format.

I thought about that but it somehow doesn't make sense since I'm seeing the purple banner telling me that I can save data in the form. Never having use Acrobat to create PDF forms like this, I can only guess that the author may have allowed modifications but went overboard in requiring all these confirmations. I've been going under the assumption that the author of the form figured that the vast majority of its users would be using Windows and -- since we've all seen Windows users that click on everything in sight when using their computer -- might need the extra confirmations to avoid clobbering something important.

Quote:

I wonder if you tried the W4 like the previous poster if you would get the same messages that you got with your forms.
Maybe but I'm rather under the gun to get these darned things filled out and don't want to take a lot of time to experiment. Once I've finished with this session, maybe I can find some other forms to try out and see if the Save process improves. Oddly enough, the form in question is from a local government agency; maybe the Feds have more capable people creating their PDFs. Having just said that... let's not go off on a tangent about the government. Let's just silently repeat the joke about ``good enough for government work'', shake our heads, and move on. I need to dive back into these d*%med forms. :(

--
Rick

jdkaye 01-10-2014 01:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rnturn (Post 5095508)
I thought about that but it somehow doesn't make sense since I'm seeing the purple banner telling me that I can save data in the form. Never having use Acrobat to create PDF forms like this, I can only guess that the author may have allowed modifications but went overboard in requiring all these confirmations. I've been going under the assumption that the author of the form figured that the vast majority of its users would be using Windows and -- since we've all seen Windows users that click on everything in sight when using their computer -- might need the extra confirmations to avoid clobbering something important.

Maybe but I'm rather under the gun to get these darned things filled out and don't want to take a lot of time to experiment.
--
Rick

I'm sure that doing the W4 experiment takes less than writing this reply. It would have the advantage of pinpointing the nature of your problem but... the choice is yours.
jdk


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